Premiere Co-production "Moshenka" by Niko Hafkenscheid & Valentina Stepanova
A number of tiny cultural centres are surviving in rural Russia today with a meagre government subsidy. This limited amount of money is given on the condition that the traditional folk culture that was originally upheld there until the 1990s, makes way for an explicitly 'patriotic' cultural experience, based on the principles of modern Russia.
Moshenka: dancing away the void' aims to put the exoticism, substance, fragility and texture of the human, 'universal' body at the forefront, and thus question the intrinsic value of culture as an emotional and symbolic involvement in reality. This against the background of the immense Russian physical territory and the endless wilderness of the Euro-Asian continent, from which patriotism grows as a complex and sometimes even comprehensible phenomenon.
The plan to distil a new definition of 'movement' from the few, simultaneously moving and banal movements of the participants while they are singing is central. We want to link this 'dance' to a conceptual thinning out and 'stripping' of the background music on which the dancing happens or better, 'disconnecting' from the image on which the body is central as a kind of hollow appearance or spirit. The body is central there as an object, not as a personality.
The participants in Moshenka are of different ages. In this way, through their appearance and their 'dancing' bodies, a diverse picture can be given of the texture of the place, and we can also touch on universal characteristics of life. We want to leave the final form partially open at this stage, but it is clear that a video installation will be produced that will start a far-reaching deconstruction of the many rubbing elements that come together on the village stage. The text of the patriotic songs (in itself incredible material), the scenography of the building against the endlessness of the surrounding territory and the enthusiasm and awkwardness that speak from the subtle moving bodies of the singers, form the basis for a fragmented story where the viewer looks at the 'other', in an appearance as archetype of 'folk man', as if it were a mirror, but one that shows cracks so that the audio and the meaning, the scenography and the bodies a.In other words, to float in different universes, to meet each other back within the imagination of the viewer. This mirror wants to confront the beauty and authenticity of their innocent dance in a broader spectrum with our Western questions about what culture can mean today: something very tense between necessity and perversion, poetry and disillusionment,...
30.11.18 - 02.12.18
the Working Title Festival at Kanal (Brussels) (BE)-